Mt. Hale, 1.6.16

At 2 degrees above, it was a cold start to Mt. Hale, but that’s the way it is in January in New England.  I’ve hiked in these temperatures before, so appropriately geared up, I set off for Mt. Hale.  I parked at the end of Little River Rd. in Twin Mountain, past the Seven Dwarves Motel.  A quick one mile shortcut took me to Haystack Rd. and the parking area for the North Twin Trail.

The sun was shining which made for a lovely morning and made it seem a little warmer than it really was.  I headed up the North Twin Trail, then took the herdpath at the first crossing of the Little River to avoid the crossing and to get to the abandoned Firewarden’s Trail.  The Firewarden’s Trail, was known as the Mt. Hale Trail at one time.  While it is officially abandoned, it still sees quite a bit of use in all seasons.  It is especially used in the winter as a shorter trek to Mt. Hale for hikers and as some nice birch glade skiing for backcountry skiers.

I made my way through the birch glades, and then up into the evergreen forest, and even got a peek at the Presidential Range as I got closer to the summit of Mt. Hale.  By this point, the wind had picked up quite a bit, and as soon as I got to the summit clearing, I put on a shell and tagged the summit.  I was eager to move back down out of the wind zone and into better tree cover.

 

Mt. Washington, seen by peeking through the trees, about a half mile or so below the summit of Hale on the Firewarden's Trail.

Mt. Washington, seen by peaking through the trees, about a half mile or so below the summit of Hale on the Firewarden’s Trail.

 

The summit of Hale.

The summit of Hale.

 

Old metal drums near the summit of Hale on the Firewarden's Trail, most likely left from the era of the fire tower.

Old metal drums near the summit of Hale on the Firewarden’s Trail, most likely left from the era of the fire tower.

 

An old metal eyebolt attached to a blowdown on the Firewarden's Trail, probably left from when the Firewarden's Trail was used for the fire tower on the summit of Hale.

An old metal eyebolt attached to a blowdown on the Firewarden’s Trail, probably left from when the Firewarden’s Trail was used for the fire tower on the summit of Hale.

It was a quick trip back down the trail to the North Twin herdpath and then back on the North Twin Trail proper.  Along the way the North Twin Trail travels close enough to the river to have some interesting views of the ice and rushing water.

I made it back to the car in good time, not seeing anyone on the trail.  I didn’t expected to, but you never know who you will see out on the trails.  None the less, it was a beautiful morning spent enjoying the trail and forest around me.

The river along the North Twin Trail, with green ice and snow capped rocks.

The river along the North Twin Trail, with green ice and snow capped rocks

 

The river from the bridge right before the North Twin Trail parking area.

The river from the bridge right before the North Twin Trail parking area.

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4 thoughts on “Mt. Hale, 1.6.16

  1. Did you try out your compass on the summit? There’s something up there which makes them unreliable. You can move a couple steps and “north” changes 90 degrees.

    • Cumulus – I didn’t try out my compass. I knew about that strange phenomenon on Hale’s summit regarding magnetic compasses, but have never experienced it. There must be a few interesting stories of the first few trips up to that summit back when the Whites were being explored due to that phenomenon. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. What was your mileage taking this route? I know Zealand Road is closed and will add 2-3 miles to the hike each way to go up the normal trail. We are thinking of hiking Hale this weekend. Is this trail marked and relatively easy to follow?

    • The mileage is about 8.5 miles round trip, versus 10 miles round trip via Zealand Road/Hale Brook Trail. The Firewarden’s Trail is an abandoned trail, therefore it is not on current maps, nor is it marked with any sort of signage. It can be accessed from the herdpath/bypass on the North Twin Trail.

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